Breaking News


Special Council Meeting – Council Chambers, Ely City Hall

Special Council Meeting – Council Chambers, Ely City Hall
August 11, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Acting Mayor Skraba called the meeting to order at 5:00pm.

PRESENT: Council Members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Skraba
ABSENT: Council Member Omerza



Debeltz/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2022-023 Resolution to Canvass the Vote of the August 9, 2022 Primary Election.



Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess–Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza- Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell-Yes, Mayor Skraba - Yes. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza.

Debeltz/Campbell moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:03pm.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo August 20, 2022


Susan Kaye (Hren) Keola

Susan Kaye (Hren) Keola, 66, of Superior WI, passed away Wednesday, August 10, surrounded by family and friends at Essentia, Duluth.
Sue grew up in Ely, MN and was proud to be from “the range.” She was a dedicated full-time mother until mining shut downs in the 80s forced her to enter the workforce. She retired from the USPS in 2016 and participated in various types of volunteer work.
Sue was fun, enthusiastic, and up for just about anything. She especially loved to read, travel, listen to music, and spend the day gardening until sundown. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy and she always made a point to support their interests.


Joni Lynn Dahl

Joni Lynn Dahl, 39, of Genoa Location, rural Gilbert, died tragically on Friday, Aug.12, 2022, when her car was hit by a drunk driver on Hwy. 21 in Embarrass Township. She was a true and loyal daughter of the Iron Range who touched a multitude of lives. Funeral services will be private. A celebration of Joni’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Mountain Iron Community Center. Friends, colleagues and teammates are invited to join the family to share tears, laughter, memories, photos and a meal. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.


Frank A. Planton

Frank A. Planton, 82, of Soudan, MN, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by all his family on Sunday, August 14, 2022.

Frank was born on October 11, 1939, to Frank G. Planton and Angela (Yapel) Planton in Soudan, MN. Frank graduated from Tower High School in 1957. In 1959 he started his career at Erie Mining Company where he completed his welding apprenticeship, was a welder for 14 years before becoming a supervisor. In 2001, after 42 years of service, he retired from LTV Steel. He was proud to work in the mines, and he cherished the friendships that he made throughout his career.

On October 21st, 1961, he married the love of his life, Maria Zoe Zupancich and started a family. Frank’s family was his priority. Frank and Zoe were blessed with five loving children and their families.


Rudolf J. Jensen

Rudolf J. Jensen, age 77, of Ames, Iowa died July 28, 2022, at his family’s cabin on Burntside Lake, near Ely, MN.

“Rudy” was born May 19, 1945 in Virginia, MN to Harald R. and Ingrid (Waananen) Jensen. He lived in Ames, IA until 2nd grade when the family moved to Kentucky, Indiana, and finally to Minnesota where he graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School, Roseville, MN and Carleton College, Northfield, MN. He received an MA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He taught at Grand View College, Des Moines, IA for much of his teaching career. He had strong Scandinavian roots and enjoyed researching local history and Scandinavian immigration.


Gloria Mae Vertin

Gloria Mae Vertin, 88, of Ely, passed away on Friday, August 12, 2022 at the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by family.

Gloria was born March 11, 1934 to Enrico and Geromina DeBernardi. She was a lifelong Ely resident, graduating from Ely Memorial High School in 1952.

Gloria married Matt (Sonny) Vertin on June 21, 1952. They were married for 62 years at the time of Sonny’s death in 2014. Gloria and Sonny owned and operated Vertin’s Cafe and Pub, a local iconic establishment in Ely.


Nancy June Winder

Nancy June Winder, 82, passed away the evening of November 23rd, 2021 at Edgewood Vista while holding the hand of her daughter.
Nancy was born in Ely on August 17th, 1939, the daughter of Andrew and Eleanor (Maki) Toutloff. She was the fourth of seven children and was a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. She graduated from Ely High School in 1957 and played the flute in the Drum and Bugle Corps. After high school, Nancy trained to be a medical technician at the Duluth Clinic and worked at the Virginia Hospital and Adam’s Clinic in Hibbing. Nancy married Wayne Meyer in December of 1967 and a year later, they welcomed their daughter Kim into their family. Two years later they built their home and farm and raised Kim in rural Hibbing, MN. Nancy later discovered her passion for golf and was a member of Mesaba Country Club.


Ely takes fourth in 14-U tourney

by Tom Coombe
After an opening-round victory, Ely wasn’t able to sustain its momentum in the Iron Range Baseball playoffs.
The age 14-and-under team blasted Greenway in the opening round, but lost consecutive decisions to two Hibbing teams and wound up fourth in the nine-team event.
Hibbing II pushed across two runs in the top of the seventh and held on to beat Ely 9-7 in Sunday’s third-place game at Cherry.
The Hibbing team broke a seven-all deadlock with two runs in the top of the seventh, then set down Ely in order in the bottom half of the frame to close things out.
That spoiled an earlier rally, as Ely erased a 7-3 deficit and tied things up with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Back-to-back walks drawn by Stig Majerus and Sean Merriman started the frame, and Drew Johnson’s run-scoring double closed the gap.


Ely sixth in state tourney

by Tom Coombe
This host team was no pushover.
Ely didn’t earn its way into this year’s Junior Legion Division II State Baseball Tournament, but one wouldn’t have known that based on the results.
Post 248 picked up one win in the tournament and nearly knocked off the eventual state champion while finishing sixth in the eight-team field.
In the opening round, Ely gave unbeaten Montevideo a scare before falling 4-3 before a huge opening night crowd at Veterans Memorial Field.
The consolation round game on Aug. 5 was even more exciting for Post 248, which got a shutout from pitcher Drew Marolt and the defensive play of the weekend from outfielder Sam Leeson in a 1-0 win against Hayfield.
Sleepy Eye pulled away in the seventh inning for a 6-2 win over the hosts in Saturday’s consolation final but by then, a young Ely team had turned more than a few heads.


Zupancich, Skraba advance

by Tom Coombe
Two local mayors scored convincing Republican primary wins Tuesday, taking the next step in their respective bids to represent the region in St. Paul.
Babbitt’s Andrea Zupancich won the primary in State Senate District 3 while Ely’s Roger Skraba cruised in House District 3A.
Both racked up huge margins on their home turf and finished with just shy of 70 percent of the vote in their spacious districts.
Zupancich, who hopes to succeed longtime area legislator and State Sen. Tom Bakk, will face Democrat Grant Hauschild in the November general election.
Skraba moves on to face the incumbent Democrat, State Rep. Rob Ecklund of International Falls.
While both Zupancich and Skraba won party endorsement earlier in the year, both wound up with primary opposition.
Zupancich defeated former iron mining industry lobbyist Kelsey Johnson, racking up 69 percent of the vote and winning the raw vote 5,762-2,581.


Subscribe to RSS - Breaking News